The Producers and Packers/Exporters of Avocado of Mexico (APEAM) announced the investment of $12 million to build Casa APEAM, a new joint venture between Mexican and U.S. avocado growers and importers.
Casa APEAM will house the corporate offices of APEAM, the local offices of the Mexican Department of Agriculture and Agrarian Development (Sader), the offices in Mexico of the Department of Agriculture of the United States (USDA), as well as a special research-and-development avocado orchard, which will be used to improve production through technology.
To celebrate the groundbreaking construction of Casa APEAM, growers and packers gathered prominent local, state, federal and international figures, including the Governor of Michoacán, Silvano Aureoles Conejo, the Municipal President of Uruapan, Manuel Manríquez González and Mike Browne, president of MHAIA in the U.S.
“I am proud of our industry and offer thanks to all the producers and packers who work together day-by-day,” said Villaseñor, who recognized the effort of those who helped form APEAM and carry out the arduous work to benefit more than 370,000 workers throughout Mexico.
Since 1997, avocados from the Michoacán region have been the only ones certified by the USDA to be exported to the United States. “The objective of Casa APEAM is to provide a central location to improve the development and sustainability of Mexican avocado exports,” said Gabriel Villaseñor, President of APEAM.
In partnership with the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA), APEAM has greatly contributed to increasing Mexican avocado consumption in the U.S., as well as promoting the wellbeing of Michoacán producers and packers, through the brand Avocados From Mexico (AFM), its marketing arm in the U.S.
“During the 1960s and 1970s, people in my native U.S. state, New York, didn’t know about the existence of avocados or what to do with them, but all that’s changed thanks to the work of APEAM, MHAIA and AFM – everyone, everywhere knows and loves avocados now,” said Mike Browne, president of the Board of MHAIA.
In 2013, MHAIA and APEAM joined forces to create AFM with the sole objective to promote the consumption of Mexican avocados in the U.S. Currently, nearly 80 percent of the more than 2 billion pounds of fruit in the US are Mexican avocados.
In 2017, U.S. imports of Mexican avocados generated $5.5 billion in economic output, $3.4 billion for the U.S. GDP, $1.9 billion in labor income, $932 million in taxes and 28,251 jobs for American workers.
As a brand, AFM’s sole objective is to promote the consumption of Mexican avocados in the U.S., and with over 50% of US households regularly consuming the fruit, AFM supplies nearly 80% of the U.S. market.
Even at full production levels, the U.S. cannot fully supply the demand, creating a complimentary relationship between U.S. and Mexican farmers. AFM are imported from Michoacán, Mexico where the microclimate to grow delicious avocados is ideal due to the nutrient-rich volcanic soil and timely rainfall, which allows the fruit to have a natural supply of water in 75 percent of the avocado.
“Casa APEAM will now be the epicenter of collaboration of all avocado producers to gather and improve market planning, development, and the business environment for all the stakeholders of the Mexican avocado,” said Browne.